Harrogate Town v Leyton Orient: Simon Weaver hails teen Calum Kavanagh’s ‘breakthrough moment’

WHEN it comes to goalscoring, the names of Jack Muldoon, Jack Diamond, Luke Armstrong and Alex Pattison have taken centre stage for the vast majority of 2021-22 for Harrogate Town.

The quartet have scored a combined aggregate of 38 League Two goals this term out of Harrogate’s total of 53 goals – representing over two-thirds of the team’s tally.

Another welcome name stepped up to the plate on Saturday in the shape of Middlesbrough loanee Calum Kavanagh, with the teenager afforded a milestone moment in his career.

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Kavanagh, 18, son of former Boro and Sheffield Wednesday midfielder Graham, netted the first senior goal of his career in the 1-1 draw with Walsall and it was a cherished moment of positivity for Town, who are winless in six matches since sealing a double over Yorkshire rivals Bradford City on February 22.

A victory tonight would see the Sulphurites leapfrog City in the table, while the incentive for opponents Orient is securing the victory which would go a fair way towards clinching their divisional status for another season.

On the impact of teenager Kavanagh, boss Simon Weaver said: “It was a great breakthrough moment for him and he deserved that goal.

“I think he is been so close on a number of occasions, but it is probably a weight off his shoulders, even though they are young shoulders at 18-years-old.

“We all went home with a spring in our step because we’d witnessed a good performance.

“It does not always manifest into the three points and victories, but it felt like a win on Saturday and the scenes at the end were great because the lads deserved it.”

Harrogate face an Orient side led by a familiar face in Yorkshire football circles in former Doncaster Rovers chief Richie Wellens, who returned to football last week after being dismissed by Rovers at the start of December.

The O’s appointed Wellens on March 9 and are three matches unbeaten under his command, winning their first game in Saturday’s win over Rochdale.

Armstrong returns from suspension tonight for Harrogate, while Will Smith is back in contention following illness.

Lewis Page is sidelined for the rest of the season alongside Josh Falkingham and loanee Brahima Diarra, who has returned to parent club Huddersfield Town.

Last six games: Harrogate DDLLLD; Leyton Orient LDDDDW.

Referee: R Joyce (Teesside).

Last time: Harrogate 2 Leyton Orient 2, Aprl 13, 2021; League Two.